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Full Roland BA330 Review
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joshuarlyon
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#1
31st July 2011
Old 31st July 2011
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Full Roland BA330 Review

Where to begin...

Aesthetics/Form
4.5/5

The Roland BA330 has a very well designed exterior and a simple, easy to use mixing section. Clear function and legibility is obviously a strong point for this "mobile PA'. It has a very comfortable carrying handle on top as well as a convenient place to set your mp3 player so it doesn't fall on the ground when you decide to put it on the amp. The face of the unit is sleek and simple. Thick rubber feet and a truck-liner coating insure durability. Lastly there's a kickstand that allows it to be at an angle as a floor monitor... but you have to bend way over to position it.

Suggestions
Slice a side of the cabinet so it can lay on its side for floor monitoring position and lose the kickstand? Maybe make the mixing panel removable like the STAGEPAS? it's kind of a pain to go behind it to make an adjustment.

Features
3.5/5

Two mic/inst channels and two stereo channels make this a reasonable tool to any keyboardist who may also sing or play guitar. The Aux in is very flexible with stereo RCA or a single 3.5mm jack with a small attenuation control knob. Master High/Low equalizer are OK. anti feedback system works, but doesn't save problem feedback, just kills it a little after it starts... but not flawless.

The effects section is a simple rotary knob controlling both amount and what kind of effect (reverb, delay, wide). Reverb is OK, but I couldn't get the delay to work. WIDE effect isn't noticeable if you're within 5 feet, but is slightly noticeable further away. Effects are ON/OFF per channel. line out to send mix to a house system. Stereo Link function is cool... but I never got to try it out.

One flaw is that the EQ knob is not very musical. Boost the lows and lower the highs... or boost the highs and lower the lows. Not my favorite way to find a sound. The battery powered feature is a huge success. It worked just as they say it does... Runs for about 9-10 hours on eco mode (which slightly reduces the max output. only wish the compartment were easier to remove. Power supply is a small external box befor you get to the wall with a heavy duty XLR type connector.

Suggestions
Why is there not headphone output? Direct outputs would be awesome. Effect amount knob per channel? Easier to remove battery compartment. Two band EQ.

Sound/Performance.
3/5

When I plugged this this in I gotta say I was really excited... After reading all the reviews I was ready for my mind to be blown. I first tried my korg SV1 into ch.3 (the first stereo channel). Volume about halfway, my piano sound came through clear and robust, but I noticed that when the signal entered the PA a hiss was produced... nothing terrible, but a slight hiss none the less. Organ sounded great. So i plugged in my mic and checked it. Clear b ut a little bottom end boost that wasn't pleasant. so i turned my EQ knob up and got a close to desired sound.

At this point I hit a major turn around in my experience with the Roland BA330. I turned up the volume. Vocals compressed automatically, and badly. Distortion from both the limiting and speakers occurred when my master volume was at 3/4 level and my channel levels were at about 2 o'clock. And there was no volume change between 3/4 and full volume. I was amazed. How can something sound so great at low levels then crap out where it counts? I expected more from Roland. Bottom line... I bought 70% of an amp.


Performance
3.5/5

I put this thing to the test at band practice. I sing lead vocals and play keys. Once we started I kept having to re position the amp so the rest of the band could hear. We play loud, but not THAT loud. loudest thing in the room was a 30watt fender amp on 5 and it was twice as loud as my BA330... which was set at its highest level before limiting. again this is about 75%. Practice was difficult.

Overall I give this amp a 3/5. It has a FANTASTIC set of features. Needs a few things here and there but everything is super easy to use and is housed in a great box. But unfortunately the box is about the best part of the amp. Granted at lower levels it sounds pretty good, but i wouldn't play anything other than jazz or solo piano through it. Granted my review was rough on the poor Roland. It just wasn't made to stand up to playing with a band. It's definitely more of a solo PA for a small crowd... maybe 30 people.
maybe more in the right room... Either way, Im returning it and getting a JBL powered speaker and a small format mixer. Probably start building a solid PA for the whole band. This shouldn't retail for more than $450 I'd say.

Thanks.
#2
2nd September 2011
Old 2nd September 2011
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Jazzooo is offline
So did you return it? I have to admit that I was moving towards the same setup for my keyboard--my SV1 is on the way right now, in fact.

I do play jazz, and I have been thinking that it might be loud enough for a gig in a room with 80 people, a bassist, a guitarist and a drummer. Any louder than that, I was assuming I could run it into a house P.A. but your comment about the slight hiss got me worried...

One thing I liked about the BA330 when I messed with it in the store was that--and this might seem silly--I could comfortably sit on it. If my wife made a fitted pillow, it seemed to be just the right height and it did feel durable. For rehearsals and cramped stages, this seemed pretty cool--plus it would eliminate the need for a monitor in most cases, as I like to hear the sound coming from my body instead of 'at' it.
joshuarlyon
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#3
23rd September 2012
Old 23rd September 2012
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I can't believe I just saw this post. I'm sorry for taking A YEAR to respond. I like my keys loud and directed at me. And I was playing with a rather loud band at the time. So for your purposes it may be ideal. What did you end up using?
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